How can wine smell like cat pee when it is made from grapes?

Did you know there are 10 000 smells? The average human can smell about 2000 of them.

Experts have determined that there are about 200 smells in wine.

How can wine smell like cat pee when it is made from grapes? This is super common in Sav. Blancs. And it’s actually a good thing!

I’m a CreComm, so I can’t tell you the science behind it, but I can tell you it is because of yeast in the fermentation stage of wine making.

Yeast eats the natural sugars in the wine. Then the yeast multiplies. This makes carbon dioxide, alcohol, and everything you smell, which most often for me is not a lot. I am starting to enjoy picking out aromas in the wine.

Because of where the grapes are grown, and the conditions they are grown (terrior) each wine smells different.

When you taste wine, you smell the aromas caused in the fermentation stage and the tastes of the grape. Over the years your brain has associated smells with different tastes. So when you smell raspberries and apples in wine and then taste it, your brain is expecting a different taste. This is why sometimes you don’t like the taste of a wine, even though you like the aroma.

There are a whole bunch of weird smells in wine like mold, barnyard (poop), forest floor (decomposing plants, mushrooms and dirt), iodine, gas, tar, wet gravel and many more gross things you think you wouldn’t like, but you probably do.

Côtes-du-Rhône, some Napa wineries and some pinot noir are known for the smell of Brettanomyces or ‘Brett’, which gives that barnyard scent. Ask someone at your local wine store to show you one and give it a try!

Cheers, friends!

 

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